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4 DIY lip scrubs that cure dry winter lips

diy lip scrub honey and sugar
Photo credit: kazmulka/Getty Images

Stop! Put down the expensive lip scrub and get thee to thy Pinterest page. When it comes to winter skin woes, everyone has to be just a bit more diligent about their skin care. From moisturizing properly to protecting your skin from sun (SPF isn’t just for summer), the cold months can be brutal, but there is a bit of good news. When it comes to dry winter lips, you can fix the problem in the comfort of your own home with these four DIY lip scrubs.

The best thing about lip scrubs is they’re typically simple to create. The ingredients basically come down to two different categories: moisturizers and exfoliants. Once you have these two items, you can get your soft, nourished lips back. Even if you’re the world’s most accident-prone Pinterest fail, messing up these DIY lip scrubs is probably more difficult than getting them right. If you’ve been spending your hard-earned cash on brand-made lip scrubs, stop. No, really. Stop immediately, because once you learn how to make scrubs from items you likely already have in your kitchen, you’ll be saying, “Lush, who?”

1. Sugar and honey

diy lip scrub recipe fi
Photo credit: sitriel/Getty Images
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoon sugar

The sugar and honey lip scrub (recommended by none other than lip balm brand Nivea) was by far the simplest of the DIY options — and they were all pretty easy. Thanks to my love of tea, I already had both of these ingredients on hand.

Simply mix the ingredients in a 2:1 sugar-honey mixture. This part is a bit messy and more than a little sticky. Be prepared to get your hands a little dirty. Once combined, simply put a bit on your finger and gently rub your lips to exfoliate. Leave it on for 10 minutes to allow the honey to nourish your lips and then remove with a warm washcloth.

The verdict on this scrub? It’s a massive thumbs up. Not only does it smell great, but it tastes amazing, too. If a bit of it happens to get into your mouth, just let the honey and sugar dissolve. There are no wax-based ingredients to give it a strange flavor, and everything is all natural. Simply based on this recipe alone, you should never buy another lip scrub.

MORE: 10 Sustainable beauty gifts for the holidays

2. Coconut and honey

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Winter lips aren’t always just flaky. Sometimes, even without the flakes, they need a good moisturizer. A DIY lip scrub with coconut oil added to it is the perfect way to work in an extra bit of nourishment to your lip care.

I downsized this recipe so as not to create too much, but if you want to keep your lip scrub on hand, the original measurements will certainly work. Just like the simple sugar and honey lip exfoliator, creating this is ultra easy. Instead of using honey as your base, though, you’ll create a smoother, less tacky one by mixing equal parts honey and coconut oil until smooth. Once done, incorporate the brown sugar, and your scrub is done.

Overall, I quite like this scrub. The coconut oil did make my lips feel a bit more moisturized after washing them clean with a cloth. Plus, the brown sugar, as opposed to the white sugar of the previous scrub, felt a bit gentler on the lips. The downside was the taste. While brown sugar and honey are just fine, the coconut oil gives it a flavor that’s hard to describe (unless you do oil pulling and then you know) other than it’s oily. Despite that, this scrub still gets a thumbs up and is markedly cheaper than one you can purchase in stores and online.

3. Peppermint coffee

coffee diy lip scrub
Photo credit: Julia_Sudnitskaya/Getty Images
  • 2 tablespoons coffee grounds
  • 1/4 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1-2 drops peppermint essential oil

Let’s get festive, shall we? With the holiday season just around the corner, I decided to try a scrub that had a bit of a minty kick. Plus, many ChapSticks and lip scrubs you can purchase in stores feature a peppermint or spearmint flavor, and attempting to recreate the tingling sensation seemed like a good idea. As for the coffee? Let’s just say I’ve got more mugs than actual glasses in my cabinets. I only made one change to this recipe. Using pure peppermint essential oil on my lips worried me, even in a small dose. Essential oils are potent, and while peppermint oil is safe to ingest, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, I was concerned about it and used peppermint extract instead.

I can’t speak to how the recipe works with essential oil, but I enjoyed the scrub with the substitution. This was certainly the gentlest version of the scrubs that I tried, but it was still effective. If, however, you really love a deep and intense exfoliation, this one may be a little too soft for you.

MORE: 16 beauty products men want but won’t ask for

4. Cinnamon scrub

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Finally, I decided to give a scrub that would allegedly plump my lips a go, but it didn’t hurt that this cinnamon DIY lip scrub smelled amazing and reminded me of Christmas, too. This recipe is the first to feature olive oil, a texture I wouldn’t necessarily want on my lips given its slippery nature. However, when mixed with the honey, it becomes much less, well, slippery. However, overall, I wasn’t a fan of the texture of this lip scrub.

As for its efficacy, it did the job exfoliating my lips and making them feel smooth. Another deduction, though, comes from the fact that while there was a vague sense of tingling, it was, in fact, just vague, and I don’t believe this has any actual plumping effects. Overall, while this scrub worked, the other three were much more effective without the drawbacks.

This experiment was by far the most successful I’ve done and the least icky (I mean, hello, I’ve put Crisco on my legs). If you’ve been looking for a way to save some cash in your beauty routine, these DIY lip scrubs are just that.

After you scrub, you’ll probably want to moisturize those puckers. Did you know cacao butter is a most common moisturizer in beauty products? Learn more below in our video about raw, sustainable cacao. 

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